Online-course within blended learning and its lingo-didactic potential

Theory and Methods of Training and Education

In this paper, the major trends within contemporary lingua-didactic development are summarized along with increasing role of ICT (information and communication technology) in teaching foreign languages at the university. The use of various ICTs for teaching foreign languages is traced from the 20th century to the present and, as a result, elements of distance learning are being introduced into the traditional practice of teaching in higher education. The definition of blended learning is reviewed in both domestic and overseas sources making it possible to clarify the working definition of the concept in this paper. The author presents blended learning models choosing the most suitable one for the linguistic university. The choice was made based on the methodological literature analysis and the results of a 3-year students survey conducted after implementation of the online-course into educational process. The MOOC (massive open online course) definition is presented. The main problems and opportunities of the MOOC usage at the university are outlined. They are mainly connected with the content of the course, development of the competencies, testing, open opportunities of the online-course, engaging students from different countries, interpersonal communication, self-management and motivation, the language and computer skills level. Therefore, the solutions for possible difficulties connected with MOOC being a supplementary tool of teaching at the university were suggested. The author juxtaposed some ICT with MOOC in order to analyze their effectiveness for teaching foreign languages. Hence, a conclusion concerning the linguo-didactic potential of MOOCs for training within the blended learning system at a university was drawn.